Chamber News

Back


New Stormont Agreement welcomed – but greater progress on Belfast road needed

New Stormont Agreement welcomed – but greater progress on Belfast road needed

The Londonderry Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the latest Stormont agreement, but has urged Northern Ireland’s politicians to make greater progress on improving Derry’s road link with Belfast.

Chamber President Gerry Kindlon said:

“It is very good news that sufficient progress has been made in the latest Stormont talks that the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive can go back to proper business.  Hopefully the revised structures of government can create a more functioning Assembly and Executive than we have had in recent years.

“We are particularly pleased at the agreement to cut the Corporation Tax rate to 12.5%, making us competitive on tax with the Republic.  The announcement of the upgrade of the A5 from Newbuildings to Strabane is also good news, not least potentially for the local construction sector.

“However, we must also recognise that the level of progress achieved is less than we hoped.  While the A5 improvement is better than nothing, it does not in itself create strategic road connectivity for Derry.  We continue to suffer from the lack of any proper high quality road network.  Our businesses need a much improved road link with Belfast as a priority.

“It also has to be stressed that cutting the Corporation Tax rate will not achieve the maximum result unless the Executive also takes steps to improve our skills base.  With that in mind, we again urge the Executive to expand Ulster University’s Magee campus to equip our local businesses with the skills they need to thrive and to attract a much greater flow of foreign direct investment.”